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New Approach to Composite Vacuum Systems to Be Released at JEC

  • Monday, 31st March 2008
  • Reading time: about 2 minutes

An enhanced vacuum system designed specifically for composites applications such as resin infusion, pre-preg and vacuum bagging will be introduced into European markets at JEC 2008.

The Vacmobile 20/2 machine is a complete “out-of-the-box” vacuum system which integrates a resin trap and a rugged control manifold with a heavy duty single phase vacuum pump. The machine is shown here infusing the composite airframe of the Falcomposite “Furio” light plane.

First introduced to the American composites industry in late 2006, the machine has been proven in a variety of composites manufacturing applications ranging in size from motorcycle and light aircraft parts through to the manufacture of large resin infused boat hulls and wind turbine blades. One boat builder, using the pre-preg process to build ultra-competitive race yachts, has taken delivery of ten 20/2 machines in the past 3 months, lifting their total Vacmobile fleet to 15. Having access to multiple Vacmobiles has allowed much greater operating flexibility while delivering better vacuum in the bag than the large central vacuum system previously used. When working to a very tight construction schedule, being able to vacuum down multiple components simultaneously without compromising vacuum quality on any part has proven to be a significant advantage.

The Vacmobile 20/2 vacuum system will be displayed by Vacmobiles Europe on stand W54. Also on display will be an enhanced resin trap which may alternatively be used to supply degassed resin from a partial vacuum. As a resin trap, the benefits are the large 11 litre resin catching capacity, the reduced cleaning requirement and the visibility of the trap contents. When used as a resin degas pot operated at partial vacuum, exceptionally high quality, low void content resin infused laminates may be manufactured.

For visitors new to the resin infusion process, Vacmobile Europe will be running simulated resin infusions on a continuous basis throughout the show. This display will be accompanied by a cut-away example of a typical infusion lay-up.

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